Flight (2012)

Flying High

Flight is a movie that peaks during its opening scenes, but what a peak it is.  Its first act plane-crash sequence is the movie’s clear peak, an edge-of-your-seat ten minutes that are both breathlessly thrilling and terrifyingly believable.  In the cockpit is Whip Whittaker (Denzel Washington), a seasoned airline pilot with a serious alcohol and drug addiction.  Coming off a night of heavy drinking and a morning of cocaine use, Whip’s seemingly routine morning flight from Orlando to Atlanta suffers a severe mechanical error.  Through a combination of Zen-like calm and sheer skill, Whip manages to land the plane in a field with only six lives lost.  Though hailed as a hero by the media, he’s too busy mourning the death of his flight attendant paramour to bask in the spotlight.

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Amadeus: The Director’s Cut (1984)

amadeus

An Artist of Note

Looking back at Amadeus, the first thing that comes to mind is the sad realization that it wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of being made today.  A big-budgeted period piece about a well-known but fairly niche subject would be deemed far too financially risky in today’s timid Hollywood.  How lucky we are, then, that this movie was made at all, since it’s the kind of auteur-driven, thrillingly original, and richly cinematic movie so rarely seen in modern theaters. Continue reading